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Structure: The Textual Representation Of Itself

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Chapter Summary

This chapter considers how these two processes have interacted over time: firstly, how the structuring of narrative in the novels reflects a concern with the text as text, and secondly how the new narrative structures in novels in the last decades of the late Qing might relate to changes in external form and in printing media. The effects of magazine or part serialisation of novels on both narrative form and readership have attracted less attention than they merit, even though some ‘serious’ novels from the period were issued in this manner. The chapter then focuses on initial printings of works and the context of the late Qing, to ask how later editions of the red-light novels have edited out or refined the self-referentiality of the text that is such a marked feature of the works.

Keywords: late Qing dynasty; red-light novels



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